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Saudi Arabia willing to play the long game for Manchester City superstar – Free transfer on the cards



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Manchester City could yet lose one of their greatest ever footballers on a free transfer, with Saudi Arabia willing to play the long game for the player, according to a report.

The club and their recruitment officials are entering into a decisive phase over the future of their first-team stars, with an incredibly important summer transfer window now on the horizon.

The upcoming market could also be the final opportunity to refresh the Manchester City squad to work under Pep Guardiola, with growing uncertainty over the Catalan’s long-term future at the Etihad Stadium.

With the 53-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of the 2024/25 campaign, many are wondering whether Guardiola could opt to bring an end to his time with the club, just short of the elusive decade landmark.

Another figure who has been an exemplary staple of the club’s operation for the best part of a decade is Kevin De Bruyne, who joined the club in 2015 and is entering into his final year of contract at the football club too.

Now, according to the information of The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, it is claimed that Saudi Arabian clubs are willing to wait for two of the Premier League’s biggest names in Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah if they cannot secure them this summer.

With both men having contracts expiring at the end of next season, they would be free to talk to foreign clubs in eight months time over a pre-contract agreement for the following 2025/26 campaign.

The Telegraph reports that while Kevin De Bruyne has shown no signs of being unsettled at Manchester City, such an attitude has not prevented interest from Saudi Arabia in the 32-year-old playmaker who remains a key player in Pep Guardiola’s operation.

Manchester City are familiar to negotiations with Saudi Arabian clubs, having dealt with their Middle Eastern counterparts on several occasions during the last summer transfer window, and in some cases reaching agreements over deals.

Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez both brought an end to their respective careers at Manchester City by joining the ambitious Saudi Pro League, whilst there were also moves made for the likes of Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo.

For now, De Bruyne is maintained as a primary target for the SPL, although should any deal be done involving Manchester City this summer, then it is widely expected that the Belgian playmaker would command a price tag in excess of £100 million.